First Balfour has achieved the prestigious Gold accreditation from Investors in People (IiP), making it the first and only IiP Gold-accredited engineering and construction company in the Philippines. A global benchmark for companies that aim for business improvement through people management, this higher accreditation reflects First Balfour’s continued commitment to becoming one of the best employers to work for in the country today.
Even with the challenges brought about by the pandemic to the continuity of its operations, First Balfour decided to push through with its IiP Gold journey, a goal it has set early on in 2019 to coincide with the company’s golden anniversary. The series of activities began in November 2020 with an online survey involving over 600 core business employees to gather information on the company’s current people management practices. This was followed by a context discussion with the senior management and a series of online interviews and focus group discussions with over 60 employees across various functions, positions, and locations.
To prepare employees prior to these interviews, the Gear for Gold Team launched an internal campaign beginning July through the release of fact sheets and people stories and the conduct of cascades and mock surveys. “The whole campaign has been about reminding everyone that First Balfour’s competitive advantage is anchored on our people and culture. That is our sustainable differentiating capability. Unlike in other industries where success relies on having the best set of equipment or hardware, success in construction companies is primarily driven by having the most important resource: our people. Having this accolade places First Balfour in a small group of businesses that truly understand the value of people”, shares Head of Human Resources Carlos Pedro C. Salonga. Only around 16% of the companies IiP assessed worldwide achieved the Gold accreditation.
Within each of the levels of accreditation (standard, silver, gold, platinum), IIP has four levels of “maturity” — developed, established, advanced, and high-performing. Organizations seeking accreditation are assessed according to 9 indicators, scored by maturity level. First Balfour earned its gold standard having achieved “advanced” level in 7 out of 9 indicators. Benchmarked against other organizations that have completed the survey globally, First Balfour finished with a score of 783 out of a possible 900 points. This is higher than the average industry benchmark for construction of 726, placing First Balfour third out of 65 other companies with this size of organization in the construction sector. This survey result highlight is one of the items discussed in the 37-page assessment report sent by IiP.
Developed in Europe during the 1990s, the IiP standard defines what it takes to lead, support and manage people for sustained success. Awarded with the standard accreditation in 2010, IiP Bronze in 2013, and IiP Silver in 2017, First Balfour now joins the roster of 14 other IiP Gold-accredited companies in the Philippines. With this recent milestone, the company solidifies its commitment to the development of its people – the driving force behind the company’s success.